Dog Fitness: Painless Portion Control
New year, new you! Or, in this case, new year, new pup! Here are some painless ways to reduce your dog's waist size without them even noticing.
1. Portion Control
The amount of exercise your dog gets per day should determine how much food they are eating. Food is fuel, whatever calories they intake and do not burn off turns into fat in their bodies. Every bag of food comes with a feeding guideline for your pup, but these are a general guideline and should not be treated as an exact amount. Start by feeding the suggested serving size and keep a close eye on your dog's weight. As it fluctuates, adjust the portion size.
2. Meal Prep
Meal preparation can be a huge time saver when you are changing a dog's food or switching to frozen raw foods. Most people develop a simple system of having two fridge storage containers, one for each meal time. Each time you feed your cat or dog, simply replace the nuggets with new frozen nuggets to be thawed, place in your fridge, and rotate the containers. Thawed raw food stays fresh in the fridge for up to three days. For those who do not wish to feed frozen food, freeze-dried raw food provides a convenient and healthy alternative.
3. Meal Additives
There are plenty of healthy frozen supplements that can be added to any dog's diet. Raw goat milk is a universal small animal milk and provides your pet with live digestive enzymes to help tighten up their digestive tract.
Have you heard of Green Juju? This super healthy vegetable blend is the perfect addition to any dog's diet! Freshly-juiced vegetables, bison bone broth, and turmeric are slowly blended together to create the ultimate superfood smoothie. Invented and made in Seattle, this blend has become a Pacific Northwest (and staff) favorite!
3. Working For Their Food
Dogs are descended from fierce hunters, and they carry those instincts with them. Animals are naturally curious, and their brains need exercise too! Treat balls are an excellent way to monitor how much your pet is eating, and extend the amount of time it takes them to eat their meal.
For dogs that eat kibble, putting their meal into treat balls (such as the Kong Wobbler) makes them work for their meal. It automatically slows them down while they eat, and working for their food engages their brain.
4. Treat Time
Treats should only make up 10% of your dog's diet. Training treats can add up quickly, especially when you are training a new dog or puppy. Try a low-calorie option, or a treat alternative like Leanlix. Clicker training is also calorie-free!
Dogs have a natural urge to chew, so giving them healthier treats to satisfy that craving with is a great way to cut down on extra fat. Treats should only make up 10% of their daily diet and we often forget to calculate chews such as bully sticks or pig ears into their food intake.